U's Christie enters transfer portal after previously declaring for draft

Gophers guard Cam Christie, one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten last season, has entered the transfer portal after previously declaring for the NBA draft.

Christie, who is projected to go anywhere from the first round to undrafted, initially announced April 12 that he was maintaining his college eligibility.

There was a scenario where the 6-6 guard would return to the Gophers if he removed his name from the draft. But Christie gave himself the option to play for Minnesota or at another school with the portal closing Wednesday.

The former four-star recruit out of Rolling Meadows in Arlington Heights, Ill., averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and shot 39.1% from three-point range last season. He was the first Gophers player to earn All-Big Ten freshman honors since Amir Coffey in 2016-17.

If Christie departs, that would be another major hit this offseason for the Gophers, who also had Elijah Hawkins, Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph and Isaiah Ihnen enter the transfer portal.

The Gophers finished 19-15 in Johnson's third season as head coach and are expected to return his leading scorer and rebounder Dawson Garcia next season. If Christie returns, he could join fellow backcourt starter Mike Mitchell Jr.

Christie's older brother, Max Jr., was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round after his freshman year at Michigan State in 2022.

Starting in 26 games for the Gophers, Cam Christie scored in double figures in six consecutive games in Big Ten play, including a season-high 23 points at Illinois.